Goehring announces age/source beef verification program
BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has unveiled a new, voluntary program to help market North Dakota beef domestically and abroad.
“North Dakota Verified Livestock enables livestock producers and feeding operations to verify the age and source of their animals,” Goehring said Tuesday, at a Bismarck news conference. “This information is required by beef importing countries, such as South Korea and Japan.
The program was authorized by the Legislature. Goehring explained that rather than build an entirely new program, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture opted for a five-year contract with AgInfoLink, a federally-licensed, Colorado-based company with extensive experience with similar programs in other states.
“The age- and source-verification will be provided through AgInfoLink’s USDA-approved Process Verified Program,” Goehring said. “The department will enroll, train and audit producers and feeding operations.”
Goehring said there is still time for producers to enroll in the program and be able to market this year’s calf crop as age- and source-verified.
“Signing up for the new program is easy and completely voluntary,” Goehring said. “We are encouraging producers to contact the department to learn more about this opportunity.”
North Dakota Verified Livestock will be identified by specially designed tags, manufactured by AllFlex USA.
The cost of the program for producers is $2.75 per RFID (radio frequency identification) tag or $4.05 per head for both RFID and visual eartags. Feedlot enrollment is $275 per year.
Goehring said the age/source records of 10 percent of the enrolled producers and all enrolled feeding operations will be audited annually for accuracy and program compliance.
Many livestock producers are utilizing stockpiled pasture, hay regrowth and warm- or cool-season annuals to extend the grazing season this fall.